Photo courtesy of KEREAN WATTS

Legalization | 10.27.2021

Is India Heading Towards Cannabis Legalization?

It's still up in the air.

Now that more and more countries are legalizing cannabis, we’re wondering why some countries close to the plant’s origin aren’t taking part. More specifically, India, which is currently facing a huge budget deficit and could benefit from moving in the right direction towards a pro-weed country.

According to the World Health Organization, cannabis is the most traded drug across the globe, primarily within legal markets that promote safe marijuana consumption. Interestingly, we recently learned about bhang, an Indian cannabis shake that helps aid in spiritual enlightenment and meditation. Since the country is using it for religious purposes, this sparks the question of why it isn’t legal already? India’s unregulated cannabis market is booming and is cash only, but legalization would help the country’s government generate even more income to aid in financial debts.

Photo by Telegraph India

This is proven true after witnessing the monetary gains in legal countries like Canada, whose cannabis market is expected to grow by $6.5 billion, according to MoneyControl. Recreational cannabis is the goal, but emphasizing the importance of marijuana’s medicinal properties is another target for India. Cannabis has proven to aid in chronic pain while also impacting insulin levels in the user’s body, which can, in some cases, prevent and regulate diabetes. It’s even said to fight and decrease cancer cell growth, but most notably, cannabis is a reliable source for those struggling with depression.

Since India’s cannabis market is unregulated and illegal, the crops and buds sold to users are not up to par with regulated cannabis and are simply not safe enough for users to ingest. It should go without saying that the effects mentioned above won’t have as much of an impact due to the weed’s low quality. So what the country is seeing is low-quality weed sold at insanely high prices.

Photo by Natalie B. Compton

You’d think India would be a place to accept cannabis since the plant is deeply intertwined with the country’s culture and historical roots. In the ancient Hindu scripture, the Vedas, cannabis is listed as one of the five sacred plants that offer medicinal and dietary benefits. We should also mention that India’s pot prohibition hasn’t done much in terms of controlling the production of cannabis. Writer Ratika Rana from The Logical Indian stated that more than 60,000kg of hash and 40,000kg of opium were produced in Himachal Pradesh, and only 500kg of these substances were caught.

The long-lasting and harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco are also ignored, allowing India to generate thousands of cores for the government through legalized sales. But the argument is still up in the air regarding marijuana legalization, which would undoubtedly help the country reach a more comfortable financial status.

Here is a complete list of all countries that currently permit recreational cannabis.

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